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Frank's Movie Log

My life at the movies.


1931 | United States | 108 min | More...
A still from Arrowsmith (1931)
D+: 2 stars (out of 5)
on Wed Apr 21, 2021

Ronald Colman charms as a promising young doctor who tries small-town medicine but finds himself drawn to research. After landing at a prestigious New York institute, he discovers a cure for bubonic plague. A West Indies outbreak provides an opportunity to test his work but also tests his resolve to maintain a detached, scientific approach.

The West Indies segment proves a highlight. As plague ravages the island, Colman’s wife finds herself surrounded by death. The shadow-filled photography conjures a claustrophobic, horrific atmosphere.

But I struggled with the script’s plodding reliance on exposition and head-scratcher ending. What is the film trying to say besides “smoking kills?”

Viewing History

    Watched on
    Wed Apr 21, 2021 via iTunes
    Watched on
    Fri Feb 24, 2012 via TCM HD